Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Running on Empty

Heh. This pic reminds me of times in my marriage when we were both so tired nothing mattered except sleeping. Have you ever had one of those days? Days that you were almost asleep before your head hit the pillow?

Yeah, I've had more than a few. I remember one time when the househunk and I moved our two daughters from two separate apartments into our house...in thirty six hours. One apartment was on the third floor. One of them wasn't even packed. When we got home from returning the rental truck, I don't think we stopped for anything on the way to bed. We just stumbled into our room and dropped. I'm pretty sure that I couldn't bend my knees for a week.

Another time, I drove home from my grandmother's funeral... twenty seven hours straight in a Ford Fiesta with a wonky radiator. We had to stop every hour and put water in the radiator. It was cold, in late November and we were driving through the Pennsylvania mountains. There was no money so we couldn't rent a hotel room. The househunk was at home with a crushed ankle. And I was running on stale coffee and cheeseburgers.

Emergencies seldom arrive when we're prepared, you know. They always show up when things are not quite right. Then wham-mo! I wonder why that is? Running on empty leaves us so unprepared to deal with the disasters in life.

After all these years I try not to reach that point anymore. Regular sleep. Regular meals. Very boring stuff, but it beats the alternative. Someone asked me the other day how I functioned when I stay up all night. Well, I don't really stay up all night. But whatever hour I go to bed, I know that I'll not be waking up until at least seven hours later. That's my personal rule. That's rule number one.

Rule two is that I always have a snack before going to bed. What's that you say? You eat before going to bed? Well, yes. My insulin doesn't work well over a long period of time--particularly at night. So the snack helps keep the insulin levels good. Of course, it doesn't work if the snack is something like a bowl of chocolate ice cream!

Rule three is to always stop and eat my meals on time. That's hard for me because I get distracted. Then suddenly I have a raging headache or other annoyance to deal with. So eat on time.

Rule four is probably more important than all the other rules. Don't sit for longer than thirty minutes without getting up and walking around. I'm not talking about exercise though of course that is a necessary part of life. No, I'm talking about the danger of blood clots in the legs from sitting too long. So I get up. Not because I want to, but because I need to.

Rule five is one that I'm working on. Regular exercise every day. I admit that I'm falling down on that one, but for the moment I'm at least trying to take time everyday to clean up the apartment. Next will be the addition of a walk. All the changes are slow baby steps but I figure that I'll work on one thing at a time.

All of these things are designed to prevent me ever having to deal with that running on empty syndrome. Yep, life happens. Yep, we have to work and shop and do all that other real life stuff. But we don't have to do it while we're running on empty.

How about you? What's your plan?



  1. Since I'm a night owl, I get the "out of gas" plunge about 3 in the afternoon. I've developed a habit of coming home from work and taking a nap. That may sound crazy, but it's the only way I have energy to write during the time when my brain is more creative. I also find that a single serving of yogurt gives me a burst of something.

  2. One foot in front of the other and avoid falling down.

  3. I didn't know about rule #4. Thanks for the info. The white cat looks like my Chuckie Boy.

  4. Your sign in word was metor. Close,huh.

  5. Excersize???? What's that? I feel my butt spreading at I type this. LOL

  6. Oh yeah, that running on empty thing is all too familiar. Much better to keep up with the day to day stuff so the big ones don't bury us when they come.

  7. Plan? Plan? I had no idea you had such a sailor's mouth, Ms. Cook. Shame on you.

  8. You're so good. I used to be good at excercise - I have to get back to a regular exercise schedule. I used to run on empty and burn the candle on both ends. Lately I can't stay up late like I used to. I've been getting to sleep a lot earlier so I'm more rested. I don't know if it's more stress at the day job or just getting older why I need more sleep.